Cost of Education, Education Quality, International, K-12, Open Source Education, Publishers & Curriculum, Required, Startups, Technology - Written by on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 6:00 - 0 Comments

Heard: Curriki Founder Says Digital Tools Are Key To Lowering Costs In Education

Photo Credit: alicegop via Compfight

Victor Rivero at edtechdigest published a thoughtful interview with Curriki co-founder Kim Jones. She was an VP of Global Education, Government and Healthcare at Sun Microsystems. There, she founded the nonprofit Curriki - a so-called “wikipedia” for education - with Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy. The project is aimed at teachers, parents, students, and administrators from 194 countries. It has more than 300,000 members on the site, using more than 40,000 resources.

Here’s a section from the interview.


Victor: What is it? Who created it?

Kim: Curriki is the most popular K-12 global community for creating, sharing and finding open learning resources that improve teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. Curriki brings the best of digital life to education via open source, affordable and peer-reviewed content and collaboration tools that are used by teachers, students, parents and developers globally. Curriki was founded in 2004 when I was an executive at Sun Microsystems, a pioneer in open technologies. At the time, I was working within the Global Education and Learning Community business unit. It was clear that so much money was being spent on textbooks, which required that students be taught in a specific way. I realized that digital technologies would allow us to personalize the learning experience so that students could learn at their own pace and have instant access to the latest information. I co-founded Curriki with then-CEO Scott McNealy, and it became an independent nonprofit organization in 2006. Curriki originated from the idea that technology can play a crucial role in breaking down the barriers of the Education Divide – the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. We believe knowledge should not be proprietary.

Victor: What are your thoughts on education these days?

Kim: We need to make systemic changes to the education system. We need to lower the cost of delivering education – we spend $7 Billion to $12 Billion in the U.S. alone on textbooks and supplementary materials! At Curriki, we believe education is the key to human progress and that teaching is among the most important professions for civilization. As a community, we’re creating new and better resources, by compiling classroom-tested, peer-reviewed, “best of” ideas from educators around the world – and not just from a single textbook.

Victor: What is your outlook on the future of education?

Kim: I believe that Open Educational Resources (OERs) will become the future standard so that we can bring personalized teaching and learning to the classroom. It’s the combination of online education + digital OER + mobile devices + etextbooks that is driving the transformation from the “assembly line factory model” of education into a new model where the emphasis is on understanding and critical thinking skills.

Via EdTechDigest


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2013-02-15 16:00

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